U of M police amp up patrols after women assaulted at bus stop

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Police at the University of Minnesota say they are increasing patrols after three women were harassed and assaulted at a bus stop Tuesday night.

According to the University of Minnesota Public Safety, just before 10 p.m., three young women were standing at a bus stop on the southwest corner of University Avenue SE and Pleasant Street SE. Two men approached the women and made comments toward them. The suspects then "grabbed the victims by their arms and slapped them on their buttocks multiple times." 

The two men were then seen getting on an Campus Connector bus and then standing at the East Bank Station of the Green Line.

The victims described the first suspect as a black male between the ages of 20-30 years old, approximately 5’3 with a slim build, afro-style hair and wearing a grey hoodie, dark jeans and a dark leather jacket.

The second suspect is described as a black male between the ages of 20-30 years old, approximately 6’2 tall, afro-style hair, some facial hair and wearing a black puffy jacket.

Police are still investigating the incident, but do not believe it is connected to other crimes in the area.

March 3 incident

Just weeks ago, on March 3, a group of eight juvenile males harassed two women as they were getting into a car on Washington Avenue SE. According to authorities, the males began using derogatory language towards the females, and one of them exposed his genitals while he and the others continued the banter. The group then walked over to the East Bank LRT platform and left the area. 

The males were described as being 15 - 17 years old. The male that exposed himself was wearing bright red pants, a dark sweatshirt, and blue and white-striped boxers. He was about 5’ 11” tall and had a flat-top haircut. Another male was wearing a white, puffy jacket.

Campus response

In an effort to curb instances of violence like these, the U of M has installed police camera systems throughout the campus.

Along with the added surveillance, students are encouraged to call 911 if there is any sort of incident or situation. They are also encouraged to walk with a buddy if they can, and to utilize programs like Gopher Chauffeur and 624-WALK.

Anyone with information is asked to call the University of Minnesota Police Department at 612-624-COPS (2677).

Still, some students on campus don't always feel safe. 

"It's kind of alarming," said Danielle Frazee, a senior. 

"I was very disturbed," said Shawna Ratanpal, a sophomore. "This is a campus where safety is a number one concern." 

"It makes you question, how safe am I?" asked Kyrie Malone, a junior. 

"It makes me nervous and its really upsetting these things are happening," added Cali Wery, another sophomore.